Spring Site Information

To view a spring's site information, click “Edit Record” to open the Site Information Form  (Figure 10).  Within this form there are ten tabs that display information about the site that tend to not change over time. These include country, state, county, land ownership, Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC), USGS Quad, coordinates, elevation, geomorphology, geology, solar radiation budget, the survey history, the site's sensitivity status, and an overall description of the site and its history.   The following screen shots and figure descriptions explain the content and uses for each of these tabs. Watch this short video for an overview of site information.

The General Tab (Figure 10) includes locational information, such as Name, State, County, Land Ownership, and Land Unit Detail. This tab also includes basic geographic information such as USGS Quad, 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC), alias names (AKA), and GNIS Feature ID (Geographic Names Information System). In addition, the Sensitivity status of the site designates whether the Location or Survey information are sensitive, or neither or both.  Some access Permissions are based on this field, along with the Land Unit Detail and whether or not the data have been published. After entering or updating data, click Save.

Fig. 10: The General tab

The Description Tab (Figure 11) includes general descriptive information about the site that tends to remain constant over time. Access Directions are entered here. This should include challenges to accessing the site (crossing private land or climbing a cliff, for example). Also it may include helpful details such as sensitive land constraints (Wilderness areas, etc.). Images and Sketchmaps of the site from the most recent survey, if it exists, also are displayed on this tab. However, they can only be uploaded in a survey; they cannot be entered from this form. In the Site Hyperlink field you can enter a hyperlink to an internet location that may offer more information about a spring. You can also upload reports by clicking the Choose File Button, browsing to a file such as a PDF, entering a description, and clicking the Upload Button.

Fig. 11: The Description tab.

The Surveys Tab (Figure 12) displays the Inventory Level and the Survey Status (highlighted in Fig. 12), as well as the Survey Records of the spring site. The Inventory Level allows project managers to track whether or not a site has been surveyed. Survey Status indicates the extent of data (EOD) most recently collected (i.e. Site Surveyed, EOD (>7).

Survey records include a display of the Date the survey data was conducted, in the format yyyy-mm-dd, the extent of data collected (EOD, a numerical value between 1 and 11 that represents a count of categories that contain data), the Project name and Surveyors' names. Clicking on the Date field opens the survey. There can be many surveys for each location. The list can be sorted in ascending or descending order by any category by clicking the arrow symbol in the column heading.

Fig. 12: The Survey Tab

The Polygons Tab (Figure 13) shows the names and any comments associated with the Polygons (microhabitats) at the site. Each polygon is given an alphabetic Code, (A, B, C...) as well as a Name. These may be applied to any number of future surveys, if appropriate. Detailed microhabitat characteristics (Soils, Vegetation, Moisture, Aspect, etc.) are not applied to the Site Polygon described here, but to the Survey Polygons described later. Should the geomorphology change, new microhabitats may be added. Click the Add Polygon button to add a new microhabitat. Should surveyors not identify microhabitats, the Entire Site is labeled Polygon X. Notice that when any data associated with a site are changed, the user name and date are recorded at the bottom of the form (circled). As is the case throughout the database, this list may be sorted in ascending or descending order using the arrows in the column heading.

Fig. 13: The Polygons tab.

This tab (Figure 14) contains the georeferencing information. Coordinates MUST be entered in NAD83 or WGS84. If coordinates are collected in NAD 27, it is important to convert them correctly.  Use http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/nadcon.prl or another accurate conversion website. Users may enter UTMs or Latitude/Longitude, either in Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds or in Decimal Degrees. Whichever values are entered, the database will calculate the others.  You can also view and edit the location on a map by clicking the globe symbol. From this map you can also move the location and click Submit Coordinates.  Elevation and Estimated Position Error should be entered in meters. If these were collected in feet, enter "ft" after the value (e.g. 4500ft), and the measurement will be converted to meters. As noted previously, many springs are inaccurately mapped.  Should you feel compelled to change the coordinates to correct the location, please briefly explain in the Georeference Comments, and revise the Georeference Source and GPS Unit as appropriate.

Fig. 14: The Georeferencing tab

The geomorphology field sheet should be completed by the team’s hydrogeologist. Geology information includes the Spring Type (Sphere of Discharge). These include cave, exposure, fountain, geyser, gushet, hanging garden, helocrene, hypocrene, limnocrene, rheocrene, hillslope, mound-form, and anthropogenic (those that are so heavily manipulated that they no longer resemble their original form. Keys to these designations are displayed in the dropdown form. They are also fully described, with example photographs and diagrams, at http://springstewardship.org/springtypes1.html. Although most springs have only one type of discharge sphere, some complex sites may have two or more. Other fields on this tab include Emergence Environment, Flow Force Mechanism, Primary Lithology, and Secondary Lithology. When a Primary Lithology is entered, only appropriate Secondary Lithologies will be listed in the dropdown box for that field. For example, upon entering “Sedimentary” as the Primary Lithology, the Secondary Lithology will be limited to “sandstone, limestone, shale, etc.” The name of the Geologic Layer may be entered if known. The Nearest Spring field is updated regularly using GIS as new springs are added to the database.

Fig. 15: The Site Geomorphology tab

The solar radiation that reaches a site can be estimated using a Solar Pathfinder TM. This relatively inexpensive device displays the sunrise and sunset at the source. The data should be entered in 24-hour time as hh:mm. Upon entering these, click the Calculate Energy Button to calculate the seasonal energy budget in Mj/m2 and percent of potential energy for the site. The Latitude value must be entered in order  for this function to work. Should there be no obstruction at the site, click the No Obstruction Button to automatically enter the values. This function also requires a latitude value.

Fig. 16: The Solar Radiation (SPF) tab

The EOD Tab also lists the Survey Date, but displays ”x” symbols that identify the categories that contain data. In this example, the 9/16/2008 survey has 10 categories of information, while the 12/11/1008 survey has 9. Water Quality data (Qual) are only present in the former, while assessment and risk (SEAP) data are only included in the latter.

Fig. 17: The Extent of Data (EOD) tab.

The last two tabs on the site form include History, which documents changes to the site information by login name and the date changed. The Admin Tab enables Administrative users to change the site name or delete sites. A site may not be deleted if there are surveys associated with it.  

The next section of the tutorial explains the process for recording individual site surveys. To open a survey (Figure 21), select the Surveys Tab and click on the Survey Date. This hyperlink will only be active if you have Permissions to access the survey.